Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Future... Much Like the Past

Largely in response to Solvey's latest post, I'm in a completely different boat with regard to my novel writing (when I get time to do any) - I'm writing at the moment, just to get words on the page - the framework, so to speak.

MG and Solvey have spoken of being involved in the writing... emotionally. Feeling what their characters feel, the sadness of loss, the trauma... and I've got to admit that I'm not feeling any of it.

In fact, I didn't "feel" very much in the ten months of rewrites on those opening chapters. And while Peter seemed to really like them, I fear that I can now jump through the hoops without feeling my way. It's like I'm dead behind the eyes.

As it is, I'm not too worried right now since I just need to get words on the page and keep moving forward. If Christopher Paolini and Cayla Kluver can get pubished before puberty (SIC) then why can't I now that I'm 30 (end of the week - lucky me).

There's no rush, I remind myself, and yet at work I've been rumbled by my boss over the fug I'm in that has permeated my work life, home life and writing life. It's not like one has taken over the other - I told him I've not written anything at work for months (lots of months) - so much as I've given up on everything.

We had a pep talk about my having stagnated and despite doing jobs as soon as they arise and with typical flair and aplomb, I spend much of my time day-dreaming... and people have started talking (bastards - don't they realise they're going to go into my book?)

So, now I'm turning 30, and I've had all of three employers in 12 years of having left school. I don't manage anyone and my IT skillset is largely learnt from the Internet. I don't have any certification beyond my generic HNC, HND, and Degree courses. What future do I have beyond writing? I've cultivated nothing but the belief that I could be in the 0.01% of wannabes who get published.

30, he said, is the new 40. He's retiring next year so sees the light at the end of the tunnel and has long fallen into a fug of his own, but he hates the idea of coming back in 10 years, even 5, and finding me sat at the same desk, doing the same job.

I read my old school report cards a few weeks back which pretty much encapsulated the notion of: intelligent to the fault of being a lazy sod. Had I learnt anything from that I'd be doing my writing and not blogging about not doing my writing.

Oh the irony.

Anyhoo, I feel at times like Anakin Skywalker (sans the intense need to slaughter younglings): I'm not the man I should be.

In other news, did I mention I'm 30 at the end of the week? And a major plot point just fixed itself in my head regarding my manuscript - the essential ingredient I've been searching for (searching as in waiting for it's arrival, not even realising I was doing so).

So I feel partially galvanised.

Will I still be here at 40? Will Atwood?

5 comments:

Kate said...

You puzzle me R1X. How can you write with such passion and yet not feel what your charcter feels - cry when they cry, yearn when they yearn. For me, while I write, I have to become my character!! Although I did once have to stop when I was getting tears on the keyboard. Perhaps you're thinking about it too much. You're a good writer. Maybe you need to let yourself go!

And R1X, 30's just another number. Have a great birthday!

esruel said...

I will bet anything you like that all that is happening is that, subconsciously, you are preparing for the main event. The blankness, the unfilled space, is being filled by a vacuum-filling maelstrom of words. So far, you haven't collected them yet. Consciously, you are not writing them, drawing on them, in a literary manner. But subconsciously, you are doing this. Pretty soon, you'll be filling pages. That is why you are daydreaming. Keep daydreaming. The only advice I'd give you is that you really should not engage in any new things. What you have in hand, your work, home life, the projects you're involved in with Maria and Peter, they all must still stand. But any new stuff mustn't be allowed to clog up the space that will be filled by your writing. Your mind knows what it's doing by daydreaming. Just trust it. The writing will follow.

MG said...

Maybe you are paying too much attention to getting published. When that's only the start of a writer's problems. I saw this very clearly at Hay, meeting several successful authors. They all survive the stress and ups and downs by the fact that they do it for the love of telling a good story.
Find something to write about that moves you, that will tap into memories and emotions that you have stored away. Tell a story that you would want to hear. Tell it as well and as simply as you can. That's all any of us are trying to do. If you don't enjoy the writing, there's no point, because that, honestly, is the best part of the experience.

solv said...

I've just come out of my first ever spell of proper writer's block. Gosh it was horrible. My mind wouldn't focus, so there was nothing to hang words on. (Between you and me, I suspect it was rebelling against the painfully sad scene I was forcing it to become immersed in.) Then I became annoyed with my brain for wasting time and things got worse.
It lasted the weekend, and then on Monday morning I decided to skip ahead to the next scene, and then six hours passed without any thought for reality and the second act was finished. There's no feeling in the world like the feeling that comes after a successful day's writing. I'm sure you know what I mean.
Reckon that's how it goes. Sometimes it's amazing, sometimes it stinks. Same for each and every one of us I'd say?

R1X said...

Thanks all,

The problem stems from the rewrites for the final project. And all it needs is a steady linkage of thoughts to draw out a better plot.

Time and money. Now then, can you sub me a few pounds to focus on it?